When you are on the path to health and wellness, one of if not the most important thing to keep coming back to is that this is a journey. No one wakes up one day and is cured. No one cuts sugar out of their diet or meditates for a day and no longer has diabetes and has now found peace. It takes time and effort and work, but most importantly it takes patience.
There is a quote that my mom uses all of the time in her work as a healer, “Wellness is a process, not an endpoint.” I’m not sure where it originated from. If I google it so many different names show up around it. But authorship does not matter, what matters is how dead on that statement is and how important it is to remember.
Patience is not my strong point. I am very impatient to a fault. In many ways this has helped me to progress in life because sitting around on my hands is just not an option. I need to be doing something toward my goals or else I feel awful. In so many other ways though my impatience is to my detriment and has caused me a lot of grief, pain, and frustration.
My impatience makes sense to me as an addict. I couldn’t handle my state of being, so I sought out the quickest fix. I was not only addicted to food or drama or chaos or weed or cigarettes, I was addicted to instant gratification. The need for instant gratification is possibly one of the first signs of addiction, at least it was for me. It is also a large part of the American lifestyle and a huge reason why as a country we are so unhealthy.
Somewhere along the line convenience, comfort, and instant gratification became more important than health and the reality of the universe we live in-- possibly at the same time they invented microwave meals. We were tricked into thinking that things should be fast and immediate. Today with the growth of technology it’s even worse. I have a mild panic if a website takes longer than seconds to load or if my instagram feed doesn’t update immediately. I want it now, right this second, and if it’s any longer then I’m immediately frustrated or certain that something is broken or wrong.
Patience is another theme that has shown up for me over and over again. In almost every circumstance I’ve been dealt, it has come with a dose of needing to wait, needing to find a way to function while waiting, and needing to be patient. I get why these things keep showing up, I hear loud and clear from both the Universe and my husband that I have got to learn how to chill and be okay with my present better. This very much goes along with my last post about loving myself as is. I not only needed to tap into loving myself as is, I so desperately needed to learn how to love my life as is, because honestly my life is pretty great-- I just tend to forget that...a lot.
Over the summer while complaining about a million things I was tired of waiting for, my good friend said to me, “I think you really need to count your blessings more.” It struck me like a blow to the head. In that moment I immediately heard my own truth, got out of my negative spiral, looked at her and replied, “Oh my god, you are so right.” My friend had no idea what an impact that statement would have on me. It may not have shifted things immediately but boy did it start the process. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to always talk to other people, because oftentimes it takes an outsider to hold up a mirror and show you your reality.
Impatience shows itself in many different ways, one of them being ungratefulness and another being self denial. If I am having an anxiety attack because I am not where I want to be yet, then I am not only not meeting myself where I am, I am refusing to allow myself to see the good in my present moment. I am missing out on my life and I am saying, what I have been given is not good enough so fuck enjoying my incredible relationship, amazing kitties, best friends and family anyone could ever ask for-- I need more and I need it now!
When I am stuck in my impatience all of the incredible things in my life are immediately forgotten and I truly believe I am not allowed to feel them. Somewhere in there is a fear that if I allow myself to feel all of the very real good in my life then I will settle and never move forward. It is a completely bullshit irrational fear based in no reality whatsoever-- as most fears are-- but it feels very real to me in the moments it shows up.
I want to make sure to mention that I am in no way invalidating the sometimes awful horrific situations people and even I at certain points are put in. Actually in all honesty I know for certain that, that is where my impatience came from in the first place. Once you’ve experienced trauma it is hard not to immediately want to jump ship from difficult uncomfortable moments. But what I am saying is that it is easier to deal with those situations if you are able to look at all or any of the good you can find. Feel the feelings for sure but remember the good. Always try and remember the good.
Because impatience has been another recurring theme in my life and an area I have been consistently asked to put a lot of work into (funny thing about working through impatience, you have to be patient in learning how to be patient) I have lots of tools and tricks up my sleeve that have helped me on my journey. Almost all of which are mindful practices that promote my ability to live in the present and enjoy the process. A few of the big ones that have really created large shifts for me are journaling, meditation, and learning how to cook.
Learning how to cook is a big one. Cooking is all about taking your time, staying in the present, and being patient. Not only has it taught me how to be better at waiting and finding joy in the process, but it has also greatly helped on my path to healing my relationship with food. I encourage everyone and anyone who has an issue with patience to get in the kitchen and attempt to make your favorite food. I don’t want to get too deep into this because it warrants its own post. But seriously, try it out, it really does help so much.
If you would like more guidance around this issue and access to my ever growing box of tools please please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a session. I would love nothing more than to help you. In fact, I live for it.